3 Reasons to Try Apple Cider Vinegar

3 Reasons to Try Apple Cider Vinegar

If you’ve been around the health world for any length of time, you’ve probably heard about apple cider vinegar.

Once the darling of the pop-science community everywhere, it still has a strong and valuable allure for those following whole foods, paleo diets.

Apple cider vinegar may seem like a fad.  But hey, there’s a reason it’s so popular!

While it is certainly no cure-all and shouldn’t be used as, say, a spot remover on teeth (hello, enamel!), apple cider vinegar does contain important properties that can play a role in detoxification, weight loss, insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, and more!

Read on to find a few of my favorite reasons to drink it, how I like to drink it, and the best kind to get the most benefits.  

#1 ACV may improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance

Several small studies have tried the use of Apple Cider Vinegar for those with insulin-based conditions like type II diabetes and those who suffer from insulin resistance and pre-diabetes.

What they found is that vinegar (any kind, including apple cider vinegar) added to a starchy meal reduced the load of the starch on the bloodstream, preventing drastic insulin spikes often seen after this kind of meal.  

The ACV did not improve insulin response to protein or fat based meals, but instead was seen to be most effective in meals containing starch.

So if pre-diabetes is an issue for you, it might be worthwhile to try to incorporate some vinegars with starchy meals.  While it doesn’t have to be apple cider vinegar, the health properties of this vinegar compared to others make it a better choice. 

#2 Apple Cider Vinegar May Boost Weight Loss

Weight loss is not the main goal of most of my readers.  We are all about that body positivity and HEALTH, not someone else’s idea of what is attractive.

BUT, many of the women I work with are attempting to lose weight for health reasons and apple cider vinegar is a great way to add a small boost. Plus, ACV may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

The process of weight loss can be so frustrating, so anything that can boost results is awesome.  If you’re on that journey now, you might want to take a look at my delightfully helpful Weight Loss Unlocked program (find it here) along with the apple cider vinegar.  

#3 Beautiful Skin and Hair

Apple Cider Vinegar is a great blemish treatment and helps dry out excess acne.  Cut it with water first, and don’t use it raw or you could burn your skin.

I also like to use apple cider vinegar as a rinse on my hair.  It’s great for dandruff, helps slough off old skin, and has anti-fungal properties that make it great for places like the scalp that can develop issues quickly from scratching.

Many people find this an important part of a no-poo routine.  Vinegar won’t remove natural oils from the scalp (oil and vinegar don’t mix) but it will help keep the scalp clean and clear of debris and dead skin which can sometimes build up without clarifying shampoos.  

The Way to Drink It

ACV can be used in so many ways.  It makes a great dressing for salads along with olive oil, is a nice tangy way to brine meats and other dishes, and makes a tasty drink.

I like to pour a tablespoon of ACV into sparkling mineral water and add a squeeze of lemon.  For me it’s like a no-sugar lemonade! It’s got a strong vinegar taste, so cut down to a tsp. if its too much for you at first! 

Other women I know like to add a few drops of essential oils (like these), usually orange oil in a glass with apple cider vinegar and water and even salt the rim so it feels like a cocktail! 

Bragg, which sells the brand of apple cider vinegar I prefer, also has a recipe for a great ACV drink.  They take 8 oz. of water, add 1 to 2 tsps. of ACV and 1 to 2 tsps. of honey, maple syrup, or liquid stevia (find it here).  Sounds pretty good!

Bragg’s apple cider vinegar is one of the highest quality out there.  It’s raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized, made from organic apples.  I highly recommend it.  Find Bragg’s apple cider vinegar here!

How do you like to use apple cider vinegar?  I’d love to hear your stories and recipes below!

--------

So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

Paleo Indian Spicy Grilled Fish

Paleo Indian Spicy Grilled Fish

I’m a huge fan of Indian food.  I love the spice and bold flavors, and so much of authentic Indian food is paleo friendly making it easy to fit into my weekly routine.

We’ve already shared this post for Chicken Tikka here

And check out our other recipe for Beef Buffad here. 

You guys REALLY LOVED the recipe for Raan as well (find it here).

This week we bring you another traditional favorite: Spicy Grilled Fish.  

It’s creamy, spicy, and totally fantastic.  

There’s something so wonderful about a delicious fish taking center stage on your table.

Side note: when cooking any of these recipes, you’ll need lots of spices.

That’s what Indian food is all about, right??

So you might want to invest in a nice spice rack, like this one, if you don’t have one already. 

For now, enjoy this yummy Chicken Tandoori recipe and look forward to more awesome recipes coming soon!

Ingredients

  • 2 large plaice (or other whole fish)
  • 150 g coconut yoghurt (or greek yogurt if not dairy-free)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 x 3 finger pinches coriander (find it here)
  • 3 finger pinch chili powder (find it here)
  • 2 x 3 finger pinches garam masala (find it here)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (I like this one)
  • Salt (this is my fav)
  • Small sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley (garnish)
  • 1 lemon (quartered, garnish)

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Slash fish on both sides and place in separate baking trays.
  2. Mix all the remaining ingredients together and divide them into two equal portions. One for each fish.
  3. Spoon mixture all over fish and leave for an hour. After the hour, turn fish over and spoon the juice that has made its way to the bottom of the tray over the fish and leave for another hour.
  4. Cook on a pre-heated grill for 4 minutes. Turn and cook on other side for another 4 minutes.
  5. Garnish, serve and enjoy!

Alfie from www.paleodiet4beginners.com has been helping readers lose weight without

starvation, mood swings or counting calories. Join him as he shares exactly what worked for him,

scientific evidence (from real papers) and free recipes.

Connect With Alfie

Paleo Diet For Beginners

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

What’s your favorite Indian dish?  What kinds of recipes would you like to see on Paleo for Women?

--------

So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

Why You Should Take Digestive Enzymes

Why You Should Take Digestive Enzymes

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of our guts were so healthy and perfect that we never needed to worry about what we ate?

Ah, dreams.

That’s not the world we live in folks, and I find that many people come to a paleo diet out of concern for their health and because of some issues, often of the gastrointestinal nature.

Probiotics are awesome and work wonders for many people (this is the one I recommend) but they can’t do it all.  

If you’ve had chronic issues with diarrhea or constipation, you may not be absorbing or digesting all the nutrients from your food.

I know many people who have tried elimination diets and can’t figure out what it is they are intolerant to.  I also know many people who just can’t do that, but don’t want to battle terrible gas, bloating, and other distresses all the time.

For these people, i think a good digestive enzyme supplement is helpful.  Healing the gut takes time and is a multi-pronged approach.  

If you’ve had a “weak stomach” for as long as you can remember, chances are you’ve flushed out quite a few of those important enzymes that help you digest food.  Lactase is a big one that gets flushed and it’s what helps us digest dairy.

Diarrhea can build on itself.  It can start from a food trigger like dairy and get worse and worse if the body can’t make enough enzymes to accommodate these foods.

Low stomach acid also makes it hard on the body, especially when it comes to digesting protein and fat.  A good enzyme supplement can help here, but it is important to get real help from a qualified practitioner if you do have low stomach acid, and also to encorporate HCL (like this) into your diet as well.

The proper digestion and absorption of nutrients is no casual issue.  Nutritionists often say  that you aren’t what you eat, you are what you absorb.  That’s an important distinction.

A number of gastrointestinal concerns – damaged gut lining, poor microbiome health, chronic diarrhea for myriad reasons, can all contribute to the flushing of vitally important enzymes that help us break down these foods for absorption.  Without them, food can increasingly irritate the gut lining causing more flushing.

There’s no point in eating a healthy diet if food is not being absorbed.

That’s why, for people with these kinds of gut issues, I recommend a digestive enzyme supplement.  This is the one I like.  It contains enzymes to help break down protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, and lactose so it’s a big all-around help with every meal!  Find it here. 

Take it with every meal and I bet you’ll notice a decrease in gas, bloating, and other issues that sometimes occur even when eating a healthy diet!

Let me know how you like them!

 

--------

So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

Are you a Restrained Eater?

Are you a Restrained Eater?

Did you know that there are actually three different major types of eating issues?

There are eating disorders, disordered eating, and then something similar to disordered eating called ‘problematic eating behavior’.

One of the interesting types of problematic eating behavior seems to describe MANY of the people that I talk with in the nutrition world and many of my readers- they are called restrained eaters.

Restrained eaters are eaters who struggle with chronic restrictiveness- either eliminating foods or chronically dieting. 

If you are a yo-yo dieter or find yourself continually in the cycle of losing or gaining weight, you may be a restrained eater.

When restrained eaters are confronted with weight gain, they feel negative emotions which can then cause them to overeat.  They also feel guilt when they eat a food they’ve deemed “bad”.  Restrained eaters also have an obsession with body shape and weight and may use self-judgement as a tool to spur their weight loss goals.

Sound a little familiar?

In the paleo community, we eliminate certain foods for health reasons.  In other forms of dieting we restrict processed foods or calories to help lose weight.

Research shows that these things DO help people lose weight.  But research also shows that restrained eating can actually promote eating disorders.

Approaching weight loss from a perspective of restraint and negativity- the “i’m getting so fat I’ve got to lose weight” mentality, is a moving target.  Nothing will ever be good enough.  And when/if it is, it won’t last, because the way we get there is unsustainable.

Now, I know some people who do make restrained eating a lifelong change and feel great.

But there’s a difference.

These people restrict certain foods not because they are afraid of them (i.e. GRAINS and CARBS), but because they are making other choices that are healthier for them.

They are thinking about what foods they can eat to be as healthy, happy, and energetic as possible. They are approaching restraint from a POSITIVE perspective.

With these people, it’s not about eating as few carbs as humanly possible, it’s about eating how many feel right.

Of course there’s always the disclaimer that our modern world of processed, hyperpalatable foods makes knowing how many carbs are right difficult. And some people struggle with conditions like insulin resistance that make unhealthy carb cravings REAL.

But for most eating all whole, unprocessed food, there’s no reason to be afraid!

Research shows that these positive eaters have higher self-esteem and better long term weight management success.

My friends will tell you that they have an emotional freedom they never had before as well.

It just worries me in this day and age of “keto”, which is basically paleo circa 2011, being masqueraded as the all-powerful life changing, freedom giving lifestyle, that so many of these people are just restrained eaters on another diet.

25 grams of carbs is not right for many women.  It’s just not.  And obsessively tracking and counting them is just the kind of behavior that leads to chronic dieting.

How do we break that cycle?

It’s both easy and hard.

It requires turning to a type of eating called intuitive or mindful that focuses on listening to the body, to what it needs and what it wants, listening to the emotions that so often control us and taking everything in without judgement.

From there, we make food choices.  We don’t count macros.  We just listen and lovingly try to make each meal and food choice about HEALTH and NOT about weight.

That sounds too easy for most restrained eaters.  They want to track, count, weigh, obsess and ruminate.  I’ve been there too.

But the truth is, it sounds too easy because it actually is really, really hard.

A restrained eater is often not as self-aware or in touch with themselves as they think they are.  They don’t know how to navigate health without a map of good and bad foods to guide them.  The vast world of food choices is scary and they are afraid, above all, of gaining weight or staying in one place.

But it does represent a way out.  Still restrained?  Sure.  No one’s recommending you binge on twinkies.  That’s not the point.  A mindful body will rarely ask for twinkies.

But if it does ask for chocolate sometimes or an apple?  Or even *gasp*, a potato?  A mindful eater will eat, without self-judgement.  They will also probably choose more fruits and vegetables and crave less fast food.

Want to give it a try?  I made a program to help you do just this.  It’s called Weight Loss Unlocked and you can find it here.

Either way, I want you to know that I’ve fought this battle and I know how it feels.

I know the pain of those self-judgments and I can tell you I’d rather be the weight I am now, whatever it is, and be this happy and free, than be constantly angry and mean to myself for not being a weight that isn’t right for me.

True diet freedom is never having to be on a diet, even one cleverly disguised as a lifestyle, again.

Do you struggle with restrained eating?  How do you overcome these issues?

--------

So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

Tips for Getting Iron Without Red Meat

Tips for Getting Iron Without Red Meat

I have not a thing against red meat.  But many women I talk with do.

There are lots of reasons someone might avoid red meat- family history of colorectal cancer, ethical issues with red meat or meat in general, or just plain not liking it.

But a common recommendation for women, especially those with a history of anemia, is to eat lots of red meat (especially in the form of liver) for all the good iron.

Non-pregnant, pre-menopausal women actually have a daily requirement of twice the amount of iron as men!  Because we lose iron through menstruation, it is very important for us to makes sure we’re getting enough, lest we develop iron-deficiency anemia.

While red meat is a good source of iron, there are actually lots of other sources, some even higher in iron.

Dietary sources of iron include two different kinds of iron- heme and nonheme.  Heme iron is most often found in food and is much more bioavailable than non-heme iron which is contained mostly in plants.

That’s why vegetarians and vegans have so much trouble getting enough iron!  Even though they may be eating foods that contain a good amount, it isn’t well absorbed.  Phytic acid from grains and legumes and polyphenols from tea and chocolate can also reduce absorption of this important mineral.

But getting enough iron doesn’t have to be a red meat fest if you don’t want it to.  Below are several non-red meat foods that contain higher amounts of iron which you can try to incorporate more of.  You probably already eat some of these now!

Good Sources of Iron That Aren’t Red Meat

  • Organ Meats
  • Oysters
  • Clams
  • Dark Meat Turkey
  • Chicken Breast
  • Beans (be careful if you are sensitive to these)
  • Dark Leafy Greens

Iron Supplements

If you need to supplement your iron (and many women do) first make sure it is ok for you with your doctor.  Iron overload is toxic to the body.

Second, try a good quality iron supplement (I like this one).  Typical iron pills you might get are constipating and cause nausea, as well as being poorly absorbed.  This brand is a great choice to avoid those things.

Many women also like to take desiccated liver because they want the benefits of liver without actually having to taste it!  This is the brand of desiccated liver I like.  

Consider also doing a lot of cooking in a cast iron skillet (like this one).  It will help incorporate some iron into your diet, plus it heats evenly and makes food taste better, especially as it is used over time!

Being in the paleo world, it is tough to find any advice that doesn’t center on eating as much as possible red meat.  I think we all got so burnt out on not eating it, we’re just psyched to eat steak again!

But red meat isn’t for everyone.  I have met MANY women who struggle to eat it because they just don’t like it.  I have met many others who can’t afford good quality and don’t want to risk it.

Whatever your reasons for avoiding it, I wanted to provide a little comfort that it is possible to get iron, particularly heme iron, in your diet even if you don’t eat much red meat.

How do you get enough iron?

--------

So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

Do You Have Anemia?  Two Types to Be Aware Of

Do You Have Anemia? Two Types to Be Aware Of

Many, many women suffer from anemia, the most common kind being iron-deficiency anemia.

But did you know there are actually several different types of anemia?

If you are very pale, with pale conjunctivae, have heavy periods, or lack energy, you may have anemia.

The only real way to find out if you do and what kind, is to see your doctor and have a blood test run.  A good doctor will be able to discern these results to decide if your anemia is due to iron-deficiency, chronic inflammation or illness, macrocytic anemia or another cause.  

I suggest a doctor who works in functional medicine if you don’t have one you like and trust already.

For my readers, I’m primarily concerned with two types of anemia- iron deficiency and macryocytic.

Iron-Deficiency Anemia

This is the most common kind of anemia and can result from a diet too low in iron, heavy periods or even regular menstruation coupled with low iron intake, vegetarian or vegan diets, or low stomach acid among other things.

Iron is found in two forms- heme and non-heme with heme being the most available, easily used form by the body.  Heme iron is found primarily in meat while non-heme is found primarily in plants.

Vegetarians and vegans may be low in iron because they primarily consume non-heme iron.  Several factors enhance and inhibit absorption of non heme iron.  Inhibitors include polyphenols and flavanoids from things like tea and coffee, oxalic acid found in spinach, chard, berries, and chocolate, phytic acid from grains and legumes, and phosvitin from egg yolks.

Low stomach acid can cause iron deficiency anemia because stomach acid is where protein is primarily broken down for digestion.  

Those with low stomach acid typically take a hydrochloric acid supplement (like this one) that helps supplement the acid in the stomach to properly break down proteins and fats.  The best kinds are those which contain pepsin, an enzyme that helps digest protein.  I like this one.

For those with low iron intake, who don’t eat much meat, or who need supplemental iron, I recommend this brand.  It is easily absorbed and non-constipating.  Make sure with your doctor or qualified nutritionist that you need iron before you begin taking it as too much iron can be toxic.

Megaloblastic Macrocytic Anemia

Sometimes women suspect they have iron-deficiency anemia when they really have a different kind of anemia called macrocytic anemia.  Macrocytic anemia occurs due to deficiencies of Vitamin B12, Folate, or more rarely B6 which cause the release into circulation of red blood cells that are fewer than normal as well as large and immature.  This type of anemia can occur in vegans and vegetarians, those eating poor diets, as well as women with PCOS or the MTHFR gene mutation.

In vegans and vegetarians, vitamin B12 deficiencies are common due to a lack of the vitamin in the diet.  If this becomes chronic, B12 deficiences can cause macrocytic anemia.

In those with poor diet, sources of folate are rare.  Those who I worry most about are those consuming very high protein, low carbohydrate diets with very few vegetables.  Processed foods actually often contain folic acid, helping to avoid deficiency, but in an unprocessed diet that is very low in vegetables, deficiencies could occur.

Women with PCOS are more at risk of having the MTHFR gene mutation.  This mutation causes poor methylation of B vitamins like B12 and Folic Acid.  Chronically low levels of these vitamins can eventually cause macrocytic anemia.

For those with the MTHFR gene mutation, it is usually recommended to supplement with the already methylated forms of Vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin (find it here) and Folate as L-methylfolate (find it here).

Consulting a functional medicine doctor can help you get to the root cause of these issues and figure out the next steps.  A qualified nutritionist can also help you navigate the interchange of diet and anemia.

Eating a diet with ample iron is important for women as well.  Look out for a post next week on that very topic!

Have you struggled with anemia?

 

--------

So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.